Youth festival set to open doors to opportunities

IN today's digital age, the number of friends you have could be determined by how many "likes" your photo gets on Facebook.

But even those with 500 "friends" on social media can be left feeling disconnected socially.

Fusion Sunshine Coast is one group trying to bridge that gap between the online and real world, helping local youths improve their social capital.

On June 6, the group will hold the Buderim Queensland Week Youth Festival.

The event, to be held at Aussie World, will give youths the chance to have some fun in a safe, positive environment.

Fusion team leader Jesse O'Neil said the event's purpose was two-fold: to provide youth with a night of good, clean fun and bridge the gap between youth services.

Fusion aims to help disengaged youth reach their potential or assist those looking for leadership opportunities.

"There are a number of issues at the moment, one of them is we're experiencing a really high youth unemployment rate," Mr O'Neil said.

"Youth unemployment is around 18% in the Mountain Creek/Sippy Downs area."

Mr O'Neil said it used to be that youths had the opportunity of going into the family business or picking up apprenticeships, but that was becoming less common.

"Today families are more fragmented and extended families are living further apart," he said.

The event is supported by the State Government, Buderim Foundation and Hot 91.

Reaching out

WHEN: Saturday, June 6 from 5.30pm to 8.30pm

WHERE: Aussie World

COST: $15 early bird (closes today) then $20

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